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Eatontown Personal Injury Law Blog

Best practices for safety at a construction site

Accidents at construction sites can be a major problem for both employees and companies. Incidents can lead to serious injury and even death at all types of locations. Throughout the history of construction, many best practices for safety have been developed. It's important for both workers and their employers to consider all the ways they can mitigate risks on the job site. When everyone is aware and involved, the chance of accidents occurring will go down.

The primary best practices for construction sites is awareness and training. By making sure everyone understands that hazards of the site and the proper techniques for performing jobs and handling equipment, accidents will be less likely. Training sessions should take place before anyone starts a job, and supervisors should ensure the lessons learned in training are followed.

Distracted driving

Driving distracted is a menace to the motorists of New Jersey. According to federal data, distractions account for about 10 percent of all fatal car crashes. What's more, these unnecessary diversions come in all shapes and sizes: for example, a hot cup of coffee that gets spilled, a child begging for attention or a call on a cellphone that needs to be answered.

People have been changing the way they use cellphones over the past few years, making them riskier. A decade ago, people used to talk on their cellphones, and that was the extent of their usage. However, people today use phones to text, send emails and surf the internet more than they use them to make calls. The likelihood of a driver using a phone for something other than a phone call is 57 percent.

AASM brings attention to drowsy driving in ridesharing industry

Ridesharing drivers in New Jersey run the risk of becoming sleep-deprived at the wheel. Especially in the early morning and late at night, when sleepiness is at its peak, drivers can put themselves and others in danger. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine published a position statement back in April 2018 that brought attention to this public safety issue.

In it, the AASM explained the factors. Ridesharing drivers are often compelled by low fare and salary incentives to overwork themselves. Many have a corresponding habit to underrate the importance of sleep. Since most of these drivers are independent contractors, they are never screened for medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea that can affect their alertness behind the wheel.

Car crash study shows seat belts lessen liver injury severity

Many motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey result in blunt abdominal trauma with two of the most frequently damaged organs being the liver and spleen. In the case of a severe injury, the spleen can be removed but not the liver, which is why everything possible should be done to protect against liver injuries. One important step is to use the seat belt.

Researchers from the NYU Langone Hospital-Brooklyn analyzed car crash data that the National Trauma Data Bank had recorded from 2010 to 2015, finding over 52,200 liver injury cases that could be accurately classified for severity. Of these, 15 percent were severe, and of those patients, 15 percent died. About 8 percent with mild or moderate liver injuries died.

Maintaining outdoor worker safety in winter weather conditions

Unfortunately, not everyone has the option of heading indoors when temperatures drop in New Jersey. This is why businesses that employ outdoor workers are encouraged to take extra steps to ensure safety during winter. Employers should be certain that company vehicles are well-maintained, fall protection systems are set up for tasks involving heights and appropriate personal protective equipment is provided.

Rooftop snow removal often tops the list of winter-related tasks that can lead to workers' compensation claim filings because of injuries. OSHA doesn't have standards specific to removing snow from roofs, but they do have guidelines that govern the maintenance and use of the ladders and aerial lifts employees often use to clear snow-covered roofs.

Retail employee safety is important around the holidays

Retail employees residing in New Jersey should be aware of safety risks associated with working over the holidays. OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is taking the initiative to remind employers to take extra steps to focus on protecting retail workers and their pay. The fast-paced shopping environment surrounding the holidays leads to longer workdays and more demanding schedules for retail employees.

NIOSH, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, explains that retail employers should be especially cautious about unsafe working conditions around the holidays and take extra steps to ensure that employees' physical and mental health is maintained through the holiday season. This can help reduce anxiety and make employees feel that their needs are being met, leading to increased safety and better morale.

Less than 6 hours of sleep raises risk for car crash

Residents of New Jersey may want to think about how much sleep they are getting and how that affects their driving abilities. Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep, but surveys from the U.S. Department of Transportation and other organizations show that about one in three adult drivers fails to get this much. This is important to know because drowsy driving accounts for 7 percent of all car crashes in the U.S., including 16 percent of fatal crashes.

A study published in the SLEEP journal has quantified the risk based on how many hours of sleep drivers get. For its data, researchers relied on a U.S. DOT study that analyzed 5,470 crashes. This study included interviews with many of the drivers involved.

OSHA reveals top 10 workplace safety violations

Workers in New Jersey may confront an array of hazardous conditions in the workplace, especially when employers fail to abide by federal safety regulations. At the 2018 National Safety Council Congress, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) official presented a top 10 list of the violations most frequently cited by the agency in the past year. The statistics were collected between October 2017 and September 2018; for the most part, they reflected continuing concerns about unsafe environments that put workers at risk.

For example, the number one citation this year has also led the pack for the past several years: failing to provide fall protection. Employers have a duty to provide proper protective gear to employees working at heights near open sides. This gear could prevent falls from happening or reduce their danger in case of an incident. However, OSHA found 7,270 violations in the past year, mostly when employers failed to provide correct equipment to workers on roofs or near unprotected edges. This was not the only issue related to fall protection. The eighth most common workplace safety violation referred to employers failing to train their employees on protecting themselves from falls. There were 1,982 violations of the regulation throughout the year, with employers failing to provide training at all or using incompetent trainers.

The impact of increased physician burnout on patient health

Most patients in New Jersey clinics understandably expect their doctors to be alert and focused. However, there are times when health care professionals may be overburdened with work. In fact, research suggests physician burnout has reached epidemic levels in the United States, and this could present certain risks for patients. "Burnout" is a term that means more than just being tired. It also refers to a loss of enthusiasm, emotional exhaustion, a lack of personal and job satisfaction and increased detachment and cynicism.

According to one study of nearly 7,000 physicians, more than half reported experiencing at least one of the common symptoms associated with burnout. There has also been a decrease in satisfaction with work-life balance. Such stats are alarming since burnout also increases the risk of doctor error, which could involve oversights with prescriptions, test ordering and even surgery. Some physicians are also leaving medicine altogether or scaling back their hours, which limits patients access to care.

Understanding LBD

People who live in New Jersey may be one of the almost 1.4 million individuals in the United States with Lewy body dementia, or LBD. This is a complex and progressive disorder of the brain in which Lewy bodies accumulate in the parts of the brain that oversee movement, behavior and cognition. Its symptoms are very similar to well-known diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, resulting in the condition being severely underdiagnosed. There are many healthcare professionals, including physicians, who have no familiarity with LBD.

People who suffer from LBD can exhibit a wide range of symptoms. They may have difficulties with remembering, thinking, moving and sleeping. They may also experience drastic changes in behavior.

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